Everton were pleased enough with the performance of the two players they had on loan for the just-ended 2018-19 season to attempt to sign both to permanent transfers.
The pursuit of Andre Gomes was aided by his parent club Barcelona deeming him surplus to requirements, and the Blues are close to announcing his transfer. That is expected by the end of the month with the Spanish side looking to close out their financial year in the next week with the midfielder off their books.
Meanwhile this week we heard that the Toffees have kicked off negotiations with Chelsea regarding Kurt Zouma. The central defender made a big impact in the Blues backline once he settled in alongside Michael Keane, including seven clean sheets in the last ten games of the season.
The Daily Star are reporting that Zouma has indicated to people close to him that he would like to return to Merseyside having enjoyed his spell there.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are currently a club in transition and need to make a number of significant decisions this summer. They will start with appointing their tenth manager in ten years, with former player Frank Lampard likely to take over if he can get free of Derby County.
Veteran Gary Cahill has left the club, but David Luiz has been brought back on a new deal. Anton Rudiger is a mainstay at centrehalf, but will miss a few weeks of the new season after undergoing surgery. Andreas Christensen had a tough year last season but remains a quality player at the position.
Youngster Ethan Ampadu featured in a number of games last season, while Fikayo Tomori did well for Lampard at Derby and could be fighting for a spot in the squad as well. Matt Miazga and Trevoh Chalobah remain in the reckoning too.
Chelsea will be expecting their players back for the preseason in the first week of July, and then jet off a couple of weeks later to Japan. If it is indeed Lampard as the next manager, he would want to see Zouma in training first before making his decision on whether to let him go or not, which could mean it’ll be at least a month from now.
The London side should know that Everton will be ready to pay above the premium for a defender that is now familiar with Silva’s system and squad - that is the price clubs often have to pay for continuity with loaned players.